REVIEW: Ancient Rus

Древняя Русь (Ancient Rus) is a short quiz game made my Vladimir Maslov, an author of a few other indie games (True or False, Pythagoria and others).

Steam: Released
Type: Single-player
Genre: Educational
Developer: Vladimir Maslov
Publisher: Vladimir Maslov
Release date: 27 Apr, 2017

What is happening in the game:

The game is divided into five missions, each containing a number of questions regarding Ancient Rus or Kievan Rus as it is usually called in English.


  • Interesting Questions | The questions are mostly very interesting, especially if you like history. As a Slovenian (who also happens to speak some Russian), I really enjoyed the questions and I was surprised when I saw that I was able to answer a lot of the questions correctly. Even if you don’t know the answer for sure, most questions are built in a way that allows a smart player to pick the correct answer with some educated guessing (which is, in my opinion, how good questions are made).
  • Soundtrack | Although the music doesn’t exactly sound like what plays in our head when we think about Russia, it still does a very good job at keeping you entertained. It sets a nice environment for playing quiz games and it doesn’t get repetitive, which is sometimes a problem for some games.
  • Achievements | At this point, I’m just trying to find some other positive sides of this game, so I’m just going to mention its achievements. There are five missions in this game, each gives you an achievement. After you complete the game, you also a get a bunch of achievements with letters on them, just in case you wanted to ever fill your profile showcase with the letters they used in Ancient Rus.


  • Length | I completed the game in about 25 minutes, but I did go to the toilet in the meantime so you may finish the game in an even shorter period of time. Even though the questions are quite interesting, there are really not enough of them and I believe that the developer should certainly spend some time adding more. This shouldn’t even be too hard, Ancient Rus’ history is full of all kinds of interesting facts that could be converted into questions.
  • Weird Questions | Although quizzes are sometimes meant to test if you happen to know some really random facts, some questions in Ancient Rus go a bit too far with that. Some of them are extremely specific, asking you about the name of some leader’s son. Although most questions were fine, others kind of make you confused at times.
  • Spelling Mistakes | I know the developer is not a native speaker, but that doesn’t mean that releasing a product with spelling mistakes is a good idea. There aren’t many of them, however, so this is not really too bothering, at least not for me. Although I did not play the game in its original language (Russian, obviously), some reviews say that that version also includes some spelling mistakes.

The final verdict:

I had a tough time deciding how to rate Ancient Rus – this title is certainly one of those which would fit into the “meh” category if Steam had one. Do I recommend this game? After a series of arguments with my inner self I decided that I do, but not for this price. I did enjoy the game, but there is certainly not enough content to justify the $2 price tag. If you want to get a perfect score in this game (all questions answered correctly) it may take you some more time, but if you don’t want to replay the whole thing, it’s going to take you about 30 minutes.
To conclude, buy this title only if it’s discounted and if you’re a fan of both history and quiz games. Otherwise, you may end up disappointed.

With love,

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June 2017

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